A new self-referral initiative to support children who are struggling with a range of COVID-related problems has been launched in York.

The Children’s and Young People’s Service at The Retreat in York has enhanced its service offering for young people and families to cater specifically for people who are struggling with issues related to lockdown, missed school time and new social distancing norms.

The service will provide a range of support anyone who has experienced difficulties such as anxiety, depression or low mood, traumatic experiences, relationship difficulties, bereavement, eating difficulties, confidence issues, stress, panic attacks and sleeping problems.

It will use play therapy, art therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, parent and child therapy as well as talking therapies – all delivered remotely via secure video link whilst social distancing is in place.

Clinical lead Jennifer Bailey said: “I’m delighted to be driving forward this service at such a critical time in the life of any child. The pandemic has affected every one of us but for young people in particular it can be difficult to understand how you’re feeling and to articulate any difficulties you might be having.

“I’m passionate about working in therapeutic relationships with children and young people and think it’s also vital to empower parents and carers to meet their child’s needs.”

Jennifer previously worked at the NSPCC, providing therapeutic support for children and young people and their families in the York area.

She has worked in child psychotherapy, adult counselling and social work as well as working in a practice manager role.

“Here at The Retreat we believe every child and young person has the capacity to recover from the impact of challenging or negative life experiences, to grow, develop and achieve their full potential,” said Jennifer.

More details about the service and how to make a referral are available HERE